Adult Mom, which began as the bedroom pop solo project of Steph Knipe, will release their sophomore album, Soft Spots, next month via Tiny Engines. The group, which now consists of Knipe’s close friends Olivia Battell, Mike Dvorscak, and Bruce Hamilton, released their lead single “Full Screen” off the upcoming album back in March and just shared another single, “Tenderness” a few days ago.
Soft Spots elevates Knipe from the confusion, struggle, and hurt that is evident throughout their debut record, Momentary Lapse Of Happily, and moves them into an exploration of acceptance, questioning, and learning from those past hardships. Soft Spots seeks to create tangible explanations out of intangible emotions, including “Tenderness,” “Patience,” and “Ephemeralness,” which all happen to be titles of tracks on the album. The sophomore record maintains Adult Mom’s signature quality from the winsome nature of Knipe’s vocal to the masterfully-written power-pop hooks, but also achieves a more mature sound, largely due to the addition of a full-band. As Knipe navigates through young adulthood and seeks to understand their gender identity, their music seems to be growing simultaneously, a true example of the art and the artist being one in the same.
In anticipation for the new record, I spoke to Knipe over the phone about the motivations behind the new record, their songwriting processes, Adult Mom’s upcoming tour, and their views on contemporary blog cultures’ influences on musicians.
There seems to be a sort of lightness and openness on Soft Spots. What were your goals and motivations for this album in comparison to Momentary Lapse Of Happily?
I think one of the major motives or concepts I was writing about was how to love. And how to deal with being in love while also dealing with trauma, but trying really hard to be normal or be happy. That’s different than Momentary because Momentary was less about being resolved and more about this is my sh*t, this is just where I am at. Soft Spots is trying to resolve that a little bit more.
When did you first start writing music?
I first started writing music my freshman year of college [at SUNY Purchase] in 2012.